Beware West Nile Virus


Mosquitos taken from a trap in Sault Ste. Marie have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNv).

In 2018 there have been five reported cases of human West Nile virus in Ontario; none of which were from the Algoma district.

“Algoma Public Health is monitoring mosquito populations and types,” says Nicole Lindahl, a Public Health Inspector. “Although the risk of becoming infected with WNv is low, protecting yourself against mosquito bites can help reduce the risk even further”.

To protect yourselves from mosquito bites keep note of the following:

·         Wear light-coloured clothing, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when outdoors

·         Use insect repellent containing DEET, and following the directions carefully

·         Avoid the outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active

·         Repair or replace screens on windows and doors to avoid mosquitoes entering your home

·         Remove standing water from your property where mosquitoes can breed

The chances of having a severe illness are greater as you get older or if you have a weakened immune system.

Most people who contract West Nile virus will not feel any symptoms or may experience mild illness including fever, headache, body ache, nausea, vomiting and rash on the chest, stomach or back.

More serious symptoms can include muscle weakness, stiff neck, confusion, tremors, numbness and sudden sensitivity to light.

Symptoms usually develop between two to fifteen days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

If you think you have contracted West Nile virus contact your doctor or other health care provider.